Public Chapter 6 Exemption Notice
Pursuant to Public Chapter 6 of the 2021 Third Extraordinary Session, a private business, governmental entity, school, or employer may seek an exemption from the provisions of Chapter 2 or 6 of Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 14 by submitting notice in writing to the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury that compliance with such provisions would result in a loss of federal funding, to the extent such an exemption is necessary to conform to federally awarded or amended contracts, subcontracts, or postsecondary grants as a condition to receipt of federal funds .
If, after reviewing the entity’s notice, the Comptroller finds that compliance with a provision of Chapter 2 or 6 of Title 14 would result in a loss of federal funding, the Comptroller shall notify the private business, governmental entity, school, or employer in writing of its exemption.
If an exemption is granted by the Comptroller, the exemption is effective for one calendar year from the date on which the Comptroller exempts the private business, governmental entity, school, or employer. An exempted entity must submit written notice to the Comptroller in order to have the exemption renewed for no more than one additional year.
Update, December 1, 2021:
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office suspended exemptions issued under the provisions of Public Chapter 6 of the 2021 Third Extraordinary Session after a federal court judge in Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, November 30. This injunction enjoined the federal government from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
For more information on this suspension, please view our December 1, 2021 press release and Memorandum.
The Comptroller’s Office will continue to accept and process notices for exemption during this time; however, no exemptions will be granted unless it is legally permissible.
If you believe the circumstances surrounding your entity's exemption are outside the scope of the federal court action, please contact the Tennessee Comptroller's Exemption Review Team.
Update, December 16, 2021:
The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has lifted a preliminary injunction covering a CMS Rule vaccine mandate that previously applied to Tennessee.
Although the Comptroller's Office believes that Medicare & Medicaid providers are already exempt from Public Chapter 6 of the Third Extraordinary Session, exemptions approved for these entities are now active to the extent the entity qualifies for an exemption and to the extent necessary to comply with federal contracts, subcontracts, or postsecondary grants as a condition to receipt of federal funds.
To see the full Guidelines for this exemption program, please click here.
I represent a large entity or institution; do I need to apply for a separate exemption for each component unit or division within my organization?
The exemption notice form allows the main entity or institution to request exemptions for related entities (e.g., subsidiaries, subcontractors, or jointly-owned entities). The entity must provide reasons for the request.
My entity is currently applying for a federal contract or seeking renewal of an existing federal contract; do we qualify for an exemption?
An entity that is actively applying for or seeking to renew a federal contract, subcontract, or postsecondary grant may submit a notice for an exemption if compliance with the law would result in the entity’s loss of federal funding. Such an entity must provide the required information, including sufficient information to identify the potential contract or the contract that the entity is seeking to renew. Exemptions for such situations may be granted contingent upon the entity being awarded the contract or the contract being renewed. In such cases, the entity must provide the Comptroller with notice that it was awarded the contract, or the contract was renewed, within fourteen (14) days of the award or renewal.
Nothing in the new law or Guidelines prevents an entity from reapplying if an initial exemption is not granted.
If you need assistance, please contact the Tennessee Comptroller’s Exemption Review Team at email@example.com, or by phone at 615.253.3900.